At exactly 20:31 UT (Universal Time) of June 3, 2010, Filipino amateur astronomer Christopher Go captured a rare phenomenon that is now being talked about by professional and fellow amateur astronomers.
Armed with a video camera and a powerful telescope, he recorded a flash of light on Jupiter. According to an article published on spaceweather.com, the nature of the impact is unknown but it could have been an asteroid or a comet slamming into the planet.
Go and Anthony Wesley, an Australian amateur astronomer, independently witnessed this rare event. Go, who is based in Cebu, two “planetary imagers” are currently based in his province. He started out with 10 x 40 binoculars and later more powerful telescopes. He is currently using a Celestron C11 for planetary imaging, according to his online profile.
Go’s recently published discovery was not his first. On February 24, 2006, Go also discovered what astronomers fondly call the “Red Spot Jr.” on Jupiter, which is literally a spot on Jupiter which has about the same diameter as Earth.
According to the Sky & Telescope article, Go sent out his discovery through the Jupiter Section of the Association of the Lunar and Planetary Observers, which confirmed his discovery.
Go, who is an owner of a furniture manufacturing company in Cebu, has been observing Jupiter and Saturn. In 2008, he received the prestigious Walter Haas Award from the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observer.
“I’m proud to be Filipino and to be able to do this for our country,” Go said when asked how he felt about being recognized for his recently published discovery.